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  • Writer's pictureEric Dinsdale

Moving me again, most likely for the last

I sit here at 1:55 am April 28, 2022 with the need to process the inspiration I received tonight, but paradoxically the saddest I have ever been.

A back story, my maternal grandmother has always held one of the few sacred places in my heart. She holds the title of being the only person I have ever met that has never upset me, disappoint me, annoy me or give me any sort of bad vibes in any way.

My grandma is the best person I have ever met clear to the core. Her inspirational, motivating spirit pulled me through the depths of my deepest despair. I never needed to ask for her help, she somehow innately just knew how to help me.

I have spent my life rejected. I tend to rub people the wrong way with my abrasive nature. I’m loud, I interrupt and feel ignored nearly 90% of all the hours in the years I have completed. I get that. If I had to put up with a clone of me one of us would end up dead.

The problem is I have to be stuck with myself 100% of the time. I do need to be heard. I need to be given the respect I give. But this does not happen. People are too egocentric to be able to give you their undistracted attention for even a sentence or two. It sickens me and I start to shut people out. I figure if they want to have anything to do with me they can reach out, as I am through trying.

My grandmother, however is a generation of person that truly cares about you, what you have to say and making you know you are validated, important, and comprises nearly all of the 10% of the hours in my life that are made up of when I felt listened to and heard.

Before Covid my grandmother broke her hip, Alzheimer’s followed. She was placed in a skilled care home separate from my grandfather’s home, pulverizing his heart, subsequently tearing me to pieces.

I visited her as much as I could, some from her window in the cold during peak Covid times. She progressively got worse, to the point of just repeating nonsensical words or phrases.

She always remembered me and we always had a good time. Her motivating, uplifting spirit outlived her ability to make any sense with it.

At 10:00 pm tonight I went to see her after receiving news about 2 hours before that she might not last long and testing how fast I could drive down the interstate.

I needed my grandma. I needed closure. I had put myself through preparatory grief for nearly a year, but nothing could prepare me for what I experienced.

My grandma had shrunken into a tiny sack of bones with a skeleton face. Her lips were so dry she could not close her mouth. Her tongue stuck in one place and shrunken, resembling a walnut shell. That is what I saw until I spoke to her.

When I said, “grandma?” She started moving. I told her, “it’s Eric.” I never saw a skeleton smile so much! I spent an hour with her, she barely spoke, saying my name once and asking if we were leaving as we left.

This woman’s life has been reduced to a hospital gown, subpar hospital bed and the inability to communicate for herself or doing anything for herself at all. She rarely sees her devoted husband of over 60 years. Her grandchildren with the exception of myself don’t go to see her.

Despite all this, just spending time with me as I talked a bunch of jibberish, this incredible woman was tickled pink to spend time with me. THAT is the impact she made on me tonight. She is a good, I mean truly good, happy person to her very core. I don’t see that anymore in this egocentric society and I definitely don’t ever feel people truly enjoy my company like she always did. Every single time. Now soon, I will likely never feel that again.

My heart is shattered, but I must take everything I have always admired about and bragged about grandma and allow her to let those ideals flow through me. They say out of death comes rebirth. I vow to be a better person as I will not be able to rely on calling grandma at least once a week like I did my whole life. I am going to have to let her spirit guide me and mold me into a more caring, empathetic person that knows the perfect moment to speak.

© 2022 Eric Dinsdale

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